Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Some breathing room at Waikiki

You won't find a little grass shack on Waikiki Beach these days, but wide-open spaces, and even solitude, are a short walk away.

Queen's Surf and Sans Souci beaches are just to the south of the high rises and fashion shops.

Directly inland from these beaches is the sprawling greenspace of Kapiolani Park, 200 acres in the shadow of Diamond Head that in 1877 were bequeathed to the public by King Kalakaua in honor of his wife, Queen Kapiolani. Soccer games, frisbee, and community events are ongoing. The park is home to the Waikiki Aquarium, art-deco War Memorial Natatoium (swimming pool built in 1927), and Waikiki Zoo. Walk another twenty minutes from here to discover serenity at two little known beach parks, Makalei and Kaluahole. Lack of on-street parking keeps the crowds away.

If you really want to escape the hubbub, several sailing cruise companies invite you aboard for a short cruise. Touristy, yes, but the cruises are indeed a quick getaway that offer a view of Oahu from the ocean. For the full effect, try a sunset sail.

The Oahu Trailblazer guide includes walking tours and maps of Waikiki and Honolulu to help you get around.